The Good News Concerning God’s Present Activity
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13).
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12–16
When Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth, he gave them a statement of the good news about God in capsule form. He described this good news as being centered in the death of Jesus Christ for our sins according to the Scriptures, and he explained that Jesus was buried and then arose on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:1–4).
Many of us have never entered into our heritage and legacy as children of God and followers of the Lord Jesus because we have thought of the gospel as being good news about something that happened almost two thousand years ago. If we would fully respond to the Good News, we must see it in its present significance. We must recognize and respond to the present good tidings of the activity of God.
There is a vital and inseparable relationship between the good news about God as it was expressed historically in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his activity in the present. We do injury to the gospel if we do not recognize its relevance for the hour in which we live.
Our text deals with the good news concerning God’s activity today. This is the gospel that must be preached and proclaimed throughout the whole world. This is the good news that we need to discover and rejoice in and get excited over. We must not leave the activity of God in the distant past or think of it only in terms of something that is going to happen in the future. God is at work in the world today within and for his children.
1) God is within you.
It is one thing to talk about the majesty and the glory of the Creator God who spoke and caused the sun to start shining. It is another thing to recognize that the eternal God who sits on the circle of the earth has come to dwell within the heart of each believer.
He is the God of love, grace, mercy, and power. He is the creator, sustainer, and consummator of history.
The God who gave his Son to die on the cross for our sins has chosen to come and dwell within us by his Spirit. He is a God near at hand rather than a God afar off. He is the God who has promised never to leave us nor forsake us. He suffers for us in our sufferings and rejoices for us in our times of victory.
2) God is at work within you.
God is no absentee God.
He did not create the world, wind it up like a clock, and then abandon it. Our God is at work in his world. The good news of our text is that God is at work in our hearts. He works within us to deliver us from evil and lead us toward the good.
God is at work within our homes. He wants to help husbands and wives to be at their very best toward each other. He wants to assist us as we face the complexities of the task of rearing our children during these frustrating and dangerous days.
God often works within us by giving us a holy dissatisfaction with ourselves as we are (Matt. 5:3–5).
He convicts us of our sins and brings about grief within us over our faults and failures.
God works within us by giving us a holy ambition and desire for the things of God (Matt. 5:6).
God intensifies the hunger and thirst of our soul for the things that are spiritually enriching and morally uplifting.
God works within to assure us of the possibility of our achieving those things that are good in life (Phil. 4:13).
Through Christ Jesus we are able to adjust ourselves to whatever the circumstances of life may bring.
3) God’s work within us is always good.
Our text declares that God works within us both to will and to do that which is in harmony with his perfect character and with his good pleasure for us.
God never works to accomplish evil in the lives of those who trust him. Behind his every purpose for us, there is benevolence, love, mercy, and grace.
God helps us to arrive at the right decisions concerning the issues of life. God works internally. He helps us to have an enlightened intellect; a sensitive, warm, responsible heart; and a will that wants to do his will.
God is at work within us to help us have the mind of his Son, Jesus Christ. Concerning Jesus, the Father said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” God works within us so that he may be able to say concerning us at the end of the way, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
Now in Conclusion
There is good news concerning God’s present work for believers. God is at work within us that we may experience and achieve his wonderful purpose for us. We are not alone in our quest to live in the realm of the Spirit and by the law of the kingdom of heaven. God will continue his good work within us.
There is good news about God for nonbelievers. Perhaps you have delayed your decision to trust Jesus Christ because you have the fear that you would
disappoint both God and yourself by your failure to live as you believe a Christian ought to live. You are to be commended for recognizing that Christ within the heart should make a difference. However, you should be aware of the fact that no one can live a Christian life in human strength and in the power of human resolution alone.
The Christian life is not that of straining to do the best that we can in the strength of the flesh alone. The Christian life is a cooperative venture in which we invite Jesus Christ to come in. We grant to God the place that belongs to him in our hearts. In the conversion experience, we decide and pledge to cooperate with God as he works his good work within us.
This is the good news about God’s work in the present.
God bless each and everyone of you, Pastor Mike